Hayabusa was a Japanese robotic spacecraft sent into space to return a piece of material from a small, near-Earth asteroid called 25143 Itokawa. Launched in May 2003, it came into contact with space rock two years later. After arriving in Itokawa (19659002), Hayabusa studied the asteroid intensively and noted its properties before collecting a series of tiny samples and returning to Earth in 2010. Monica Grady, a professor of planetary and space sciences at The Open University, announced the 2005 plan to BBC Radio 4 listeners.
She said : " Once the device stabilizes, it will throw a small probe on the asteroid."
"If it's not careful, it could throw the asteroid away ̵
" So it will actually roll on the surface and stagger before it comes to a halt. "
" Then he shoots a laser into the surface and explodes material into one
"This is then pushed back to the mothership and brought back to earth."
Grady, how a single piece of rock could prove valuable in understanding the history of our universe.
She added, "It will only bring down a few grams – a tiny amount of material – for analysis back to Earth.
" But we can gather so much information from a single grain 19659011] "To say that we hope to get the history of the universe expresses it a little, but at least the history of the solar system em.
" When we look at these objects 'We will have samples of these prestige materials – the original dust grains.'
In 2013 The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) announced that 1500 extraterrestrial grains had been recovered, which consisted of the minerals olivine pyroxene plagioclase and .
The grains had a size of about 10 microns and JAXA performed detailed On alysen the samples by splitting particles and examining their crystal structure.
The scientists believed that Itokawa's dust was probably originally part of a larger asteroid.
It was thought that the asteroid had been exposed there for about eight million years to depict the history of our solar system.
Surprisingly, the grains also contained traces of meteorites s, suggesting an earlier collision.